A Structured Report (SR) is a DICOM object used to exchange text data. SRs can be used to exchange almost any sort of structured text data, including observations and reports.
SRs are most often implemented to support key object identification, Computer Aided Detection (CAD), and routine ultrasound measurements. Also, as demonstrated in IHE's Simple Image and Numeric Report integration profile, SRs can be used for general diagnostic reporting as well.
While text-based data such as observations and reports are most often exchanged using HL7, there are some scenarios where it can be better to use SRs. Benefits of SRs include:
- A template-based structure that lends itself to storage in a database, which supports data mining and outcome measurements.
- The capacity to reference other DICOM objects (such as images, parts of images, presentation of images, and waveforms) directly.
- Easier integration with applications that automate the creation or processing of structured information (such as CAD software).
Like any other DICOM object, an SR has a Unique Identifier (UID) and can be exchanged between two AEs. An SR also has exactly the same structure as other DICOM composite object: each SR instance contains a header (patient information, other identifying information with which to manage the object), and a body (the structured report information).